The Winning Edge

It seems so obvious now since virtually every professional athlete lifts weights, but it wasn't long ago that many athletes thought that weight training would make them "muscle-bound" and impair their athletic ability. In fact, until Evander Holyfield, the "built up" heavyweight champion, hired a strength coach and showed the boxing world what weights could do for one's prowess in the ring, few fighters ever touched a barbell. (If you want to see a near-perfect back, check out "Real Deal" Holyfield.)

Here's a random sampling of athletes who've benefited from time in the gym:

> Martina Navratilova, who dominated women's tennis in the 1980s, says weight training transformed her from a "pudgy player' to the strongest woman in the sport. (Chris Evert, her chief rival, was convinced she couldn't compete with Navratilova unless she weight trained herself. Once she did, she began beating Martina again.)

> Would Mark McGwire have hit 70 homers in 1998 without the added oomph he gained from the weight room?

> Even Tiger Woods—a golfer!—proved the benefits of lifting. Had he not pumped iron, it's doubtful he could drive the ball a country mile.

> Six-time NBA champion Michael Jordan lifted like a fiend even during the season—though it didn't help his golf or baseball any.

And the list goes on and on.

No matter what sport you play—whether you're a jockey, gymnast, rock climber, surfer, swimmer, skier, softball player, tennis player—weight lifting will help improve your game. If, for example, you're a golfer, strengthening the muscles in your shoulders, arms, hips, and abdomen will help you add distance to your drive (assuming you practice). Perhaps more important, staying strong and limber will cut down on the number of injuries you incur, which means you'll be able to play more rounds.

Of course, don't assume that Kryptonian strength will make a professional star out of mere mortals, but you're likely to be amazed at how much weight training can help your performance in your game of choice.

Body Building Secrets Revealed

Body Building Secrets Revealed

Ever since the fitness craze in the 1980’s, we have become a nation increasingly aware of our health and physique. Millions of dollars are spent every year in the quest for a perfect body. Gyms are big business, personal trainers are making a tidy living helping people stay fit, and body building supplements are at an all-time level of performance.

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